To kick off National Children’s Dental Health month, let’s talk about when we should start basic dental care for kids!
Lots of parents often wonder if it’s necessary to start any kind of oral care routine for babies from birth until they start solids. I mean if we really think about it, if babies aren’t eating solid foods yet, there’s nothing to clean right? Wrong!
The earlier you start, the easier it will be for baby to establish a healthy relationship and association with oral care. Now this doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a toothbrush as soon as baby is born just that we should start introducing some oral care as soon as, or even before, baby cuts their first tooth. That can look like introducing a soft bristled teething toy, using a wash cloth to massage their gums, or using a finger brush to massage the gums as well!
Once baby has some teeth in, you will need to start attending to those adorable little baby teeth. You can start using those tools listed above more deliberately and start brushing twice a day. For now, water works just fine there’s no need to use toothpaste just yet.
The most common child dental care question is when to take children to the dentist for the first time. There are two options, that are entirely up to the parents. You can make an appointment as soon as baby starts growing teeth at a pediatric dentist office. Pediatric dental offices have the tools and equipment to be able to handle those tiny patients. If you’ve established a good dental care routine and don’t have any concerns, it is acceptable to wait until the age of three to take your child to your regular family dentist. At that age, these tiny patients are able to understand directions more clearly and we can start scheduling routine cleanings if the child allows.
Hopefully this post can help some parents and caregivers a little insight on what dental care is like for children. Next post, we’ll be talking about what fluoride is, how it’s applied, and what does it exactly do.
-Webster Dental Associates